Iowa Consumers Can Sue Microsoft, Court Rules

An Iowa lawyer on Friday vowed to push forward with a class action lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. after the state Supreme Court ruled consumers could sue the world's largest software maker for having been allegedly overcharged for Windows when they bought PCs.

The original lawsuit, filed in February 2000, accuses Microsoft of unlawfully "maintaining its monopoly power by anti-competitive and unreasonably exclusionary conduct" and artificially driving up the price of Windows 98.

"People who bought Windows 98 probably paid about $40 too much," said Des Moines attorney Roxanne Barton Conlin.

A lower court dismissed the lawsuit in August 2000, ruling that state law precludes consumers from suing software makers if they buy the software from PC manufacturers and not directly from the software companies, she said.

On appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed that decision on Wednesday, saying nothing in the state law says that "in order to seek redress for antitrust violations a purchaser must be directly injured."

Two of the seven judges on the state's high court dissented.

News source: Reuters - Iowa Consumers Can Sue Microsoft, Court Rules

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